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High school students think big at Chamber of Commerce’s BOLD Conference

April 15, 2014

High school students

Up to 100 high school students from throughout the city will gather this week at Red River College to discuss brave new ways of making a better tomorrow for young Manitobans.

Hosted by RRC and the Winnipeg Chamber of Commerce, the 2014 High School BOLD Conference brings together forward-thinking teens to brainstorm and discuss ideas for change in our city — whether it’s new things to do and see, or suggestions for city planning, transportation, the environment and social justice.

“In order to solve worker shortages, we have to keep our students here rather than having them go elsewhere when they graduate. So we want to explore what would make them want to stay,” says Wendy Stephenson, Director of Strategic Initiatives for the Chamber.

“We’re giving students a voice, which is really important. They’re the ones who are going to have to live with our decisions, so it’s very important that we’re listening to our young people.”

Each high school has been invited to select two students as panelists, who’ll meet with their classmates, student council or project group to develop and flesh out a BOLD idea. At the conference, each pair of students will have five minutes in which to present their ideas, as well as opportunities for further discussion with their peers.

Prior to their panel discussions, students will also hear presentations from a series of keynote speakers, including Tara Miller, a visually impaired photographer and founder of 100 Acre Woods Photography; Chris Warwaruk, co-founder of Neepawa-based Farmery Estate Brewery; and Brian Bowman, a local lawyer (Pitblado Law) and potential mayoral candidate.

“The idea behind the keynotes is to be inspiring and to show students they can overcome challenges — that they can do things and they can make things happen,” says Stephenson.

“In order for businesses to thrive, we’ve got to have a thriving community. The whole emphasis of this event is on trying to make a better community.”

Click here to learn more about the Chamber’s BOLD initiatives.